A Finland Swede in Bavaria

Friday, 23 January 2009

First time on North American slopes

Today was my first day of snowboarding in the Rockies. It was also my first time ever on snowy slopes in North America.

It's hardly advisable to draw any general conclusions from such a small sample, but my first impressions comparing Red Mountain to the Alps or Levi (Finland) or Åre (Sweden) are:

  • it was cold in the slopes (but I still haven't got my luggage, so I wasn't properly dressed)

  • a high share of very proficient skiers and snowboarders

  • but very few skiers in total, i.e. nearly empty slopes

  • I caught a day without powder snow (which is rumoured to be much more frequent here than at home in Europe)

  • just one little lodge in the mountain, and very few signs / ads pointing towards it

  • quite old ski lifts, without leg rests

  • little music, low volume, not as much atmosphere as in Europe

  • great slopes, but just like frequently in Europe there could have been more snow

  • the beer is OK (so far tested: Kokanee, Molson Canadian)

The rating of the slopes is in a way "more modest" in Red Mountain. Most of the blue slopes would have been rated red in Europe. Several diamond slopes would have been rated black. And I didn't even go into a double diamond today.

The weather was unusual, in that the temperature rose uphill. I hear this is called an inversion. It has the benefit of clear weather on the top of the mountain, while the bottommost ski lifts are covered in fog (see below).

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